You can’t spend every minute of every day selling. After all, you need to sleep sometimes. What if there was a way to build a machine that went all over the world and found the best prospects for your business, then qualified and educated those prospects only delivering them to you once the prospects knew about your services and processes and were ready to buy? What if this machine worked tirelessly to nurture prospects who didn’t even know they needed your services yet, so that when the do, they remember that you are the right provider?
If you don’t have an e-commerce site you may not make the connection between your website and its revenue-generating power. But a content-rich web site, full of high-quality articles, videos and other content should be attracting a steady stream of visitors from the major search engines. These features give your visitors a chance to “kick the tires” before they pick up the phone or fill out your contact form. So when they do reach out to you they have a better idea of what you do, what you are like to work with, and what value you provide. It’s a dream! The web site has attracted traffic, helped the prospects to pre-qualify you (and themselves) so that when the lead gets to you they are more ready to buy. You don’t have to convince them of your ability to help — they already believe.
So when the day comes when you decide to sell your business, your web site’s lead-generating capability will likely be a factor in calculating the value of your business. If your website has a history of producing solid leads, you’ll be compensated for that … compensated for something that happens while you could be sleeping! It’s truly a dream.
That’s why I’ve started to think of the fees I pay for SEO and content-marketing services as an investment in the equity of my company rather than as a marketing expense. The work that is being done to attract Internet traffic and leads will directly increase the value of my firm now (because I’m getting more leads) and in the future (because the traffic itself is valuable). I’ve already seen a substantial return on my investment in SEO and content marketing in new business, and that further builds the value of my equity.
From my experience, I think it’s safe to say that companies that do their sales and marketing only the “old” way (cold calling, direct mail, networking, etc.) will sell at a discount someday. After all, how will they explain to a potential acquirer just why they chose not tap into a steady stream of traffic and leads that a content-rich website with solid SEO can generate? Who will want to do all the work themselves instead of letting their web site do it for them?
It also seems that I’m not the only one thinking this way…
By Brad Farris
Brad Farris has spent the last 10 years as a Small Business Advisor at Anchor Advisors in Chicago, He also shares Small Business Tools and Templates at EnMast.com a small business owner’s community.
What are your thoughts?